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New York City Premiere
POLKADOTS: THE COOL KIDS MUSICAL
Book by MELVIN TUNSTALL III
Music by GREG BOROWSKY & DOUGLAS LYONS
Lyrics by DOUGLAS LYONS
Original Concept by DOUGLAS LYONS
Directed by TAMILLA WOODARD
Musical Direction by TED ARTHUR
Choreography by SHEA SULLIVAN
Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street
Tickets are now on sale! Get yours today!
Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot who just moved to the “Squares Only” small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship. Inspired by the events of The Little Rock 9, Polkadots serves as a colorful history lesson for children, reminding them that our individual differences make us awesome, not outcasts.
Polkadots is recommended for ages 5 and up!
“Atlantic for Kids – the family arm of the famed Atlantic Theater Company – consistently mounts some of the best children’s shows in town!” – Mommy Poppins
Production photos by Ahron R. Foster.
LATOYA EDWARDS (Lily Polkadot) is excited to join the Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical family, and make her Atlantic debut at the same time! Last seen in Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat, her other credits include: “The Get Down,” “Want a Cookie?,” “Law & Order: SVU” and Carefully Taught. Pace MT ’15.
CHRIS RENALDS (Sky Square). Atlantic debut! Originally from Northern California, Chris received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College before moving to NYC. Some of his selected credits include Blatantly Blaine (The PIT NYC), Spring Awakening (Gloucester Stage, MA) as well as many shows performed in rep with Disney Cruise Line, including the premiere of Frozen: A Musical Spectacular. Most recently, Chris was lucky to be involved with Prospect Theater Company’s New Musical Theatre Lab, World Views.
BROOKE SWEENEY (Penelope Square) is thrilled to be making her Atlantic Theater Company debut with Polkadots! Select theater credits include: Regional: Avenue Q (Kate Monster/Lucy) at A.R.T.’s OBERON. Harvard: Noises Off (Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clackett), Gypsy (June), [title of show] (Heidi), Dogfight (Marcy). She is a proud alumnus of Atlantic Acting School’s Summer Intensive and The Second City’s Comedy Studies. Brooke recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University.
STEPHANIE TOUPS (Ms. Square/Mama Square) was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some favorite credits include: Off-Broadway: Lili Marlene at the St Luke’s Theatre; Tour: Miss Nelson is Missing (Miss Nelson/Miss Viola Swamp) with Two Beans Productions; Regional: South Pacific at Lyric Stage Irving, Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown) and Into the Woods (Cinderella) with Summer Stock Austin, Big River (Mary Jane Wilkes) and Joseph…Dreamcoat at Tulane Summer Lyric. Thank you to Atlantic Theater Company for this opportunity and the whole Polkadots team for making something so special. BFA Musical Theatre/Texas Christian University. EMC.
DOUGLAS LYONS (Music, Lyrics, Concept) is a composer-lyricist and actor who has originated roles on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and Beautiful. As a writer Douglas was awarded the Bully Free Communities Spotlight Award for Polkadots at Ivoryton Playhouse. Upcoming world premieres: Five Points at Theater Latte Da and Peter, Darling at Casa Mañana Theatre. With composer Ethan Pakchar his lyrics have played Lincoln Center, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep and more. Douglas is currently in residence at The Directors Company and under commission with Seattle’s 5th Ave Theatre and Premieres’ Inner Voices.
GREG BOROWSKY (Music) is a songwriter and producer from South Africa, signed to Sony ATV. He is the creative producer and writer behind some of South Africa’s biggest SAMA (SA Grammy) winning artists. His debut album, signed to Universal Music SA, was nominated for a Metro FM Best RnB Award and his single Chocolate Vanilla was nominated for a Best RnB Channel O Africa Award. After co-writing and producing the official “20 Years of Freedom” song for the South African Government, Greg moved to New York to complete his next producer album, “The Greg Dean Project” featuring soul and Broadway artists, which reached #1 on the UK Soul Chart and remained on the USA Billboard RnB chart for 6 weeks in 2016.
MELVIN TUNSTALL, III (Book) is thrilled to be making his Atlantic Theater Company debut as playwright! Melvin began his writing career while still a student at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as a founding member of the AMP Theatre Company. A proud participant in the Yale Institute for Musical Theater, Melvin took a small break from writing to make his Broadway debut in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical after originating the role of “Ja’Keith” in the Toronto Company of the Broadway smash Rock of Ages. The acting bug now quenched, Melvin returned to writing with commissioned adaptations of the Broadway musicals Wonderland and The Wiz. His original musical BLooM! was a finalist in the renowned NAMT Festival in New York City. Peter, darling…, his highly anticipated new musical version of the classic Peter Pan, was commissioned by and will premiere at Casa Mañana Theatre in TX, Spring 2018. Melvin currently resides in New York City where he is hard at work writing the book, music and lyrics to Higgins In Harlem: a new musical Pygmalion.
TAMILLA WOODARD (Director) is co-founder of PopUp Theatrics, a partnership creating site-specific theatrical events internationally and the Artistic Director of The Five Boroughs/One City Project, a multi-year initiative of The Working Theater. She is a past Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women’s Project Theater, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab and artistic affiliate with New Georges. She graduated from The Yale School of Drama’s Acting program and is the recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women. For the 2016-17 season, Tamilla’s work includes Fit for a Queen by Betty Shamieh at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Harbur Gate by Kathleen Cahill at Salt Lake Acting Company in Utah, PopUP theatrics immersive, INSIDE at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, James Scruggs 3/Fifths at Three Legged Dog/3LD and Beto O’Byrne’s Loving and Loving at Stella Adler.
TED ARTHUR (Musical Director) is a New York-based music director/pianist who currently works at Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked and Miss Saigon. He works closely with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and has music directed and assisted on a number of productions with Royal Caribbean and Busch Gardens. Ted has worked on earlier productions of Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical and is thrilled to see this heart-filled show make its Atlantic debut.
SHEA SULLIVAN (Choreographer). Select credits include: Off-Broadway: PAGEANT! (Drama Desk Nomination Best Revival), I’ll Say She Is. For Cape Playhouse: The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweet Charity, Legally Blonde, Crazy For You, Kiss Me Kate. For Maltz Jupiter Theatre: The Producers, The Will Roger Follies, The Music Man (Carbonell Award), Crazy For You (Carbonell Award). For Barrington Stage: Ragtime, Southern Comfort. “Pan Am” (ABC), White Christmas (ACCC), A Christmas Carol (Fords Theater), Dames at Sea (Bay Street Theatre), DanceBreak ’08. Proud member of SDC and a board member of the Musical Theater Factory and the Ziegfeld Club.
ETHAN PAKCHAR (Orchestrations) has played guitar for the Broadway productions of Hamilton, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King and more. He is half of the songwriting team “Lyons & Pakchar,” who have been heard at Lincoln Center’s Broadway Songbook Series, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, Goodspeed’s Johnny Mercer’s Writing Colony, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep, The Musical Theatre Factory and more. Commissions: Seattle’s 5th Ave Theatre (’64). He holds a B.M. from NYU.
BRIAN STRUMWASSER (Wig & Makeup Designer). New York based Broadway Makeup Designer/Artist & Hairstylist. Broadway/National Tour as Designer: Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Bridges of Madison County, Ever After at Paper Mill Playhouse. Broadway: The Crucible, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Mamma Mia!, A Bronx Tale, Waitress, Hand to God, Cabaret, Matilda, Aladdin, Cinderella, The Lion King and The End of the Rainbow. www.BrianStrumwasser.com
Ryan Howell (Scenic Designer) Off-Broadway: Pretty Hunger, Teenage Dick (The Public Theater); All Over the Map, Thao’s Library (All for One); Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR). New York: Loving vs. Virginia (Williamstown); The Wedding Singer, Spring Awakening (NYFA); EMILIE, Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Lee Strasberg); Life of the Party (NYU Steinhardt). Regional: The Marriage of Figaro (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra); Nice Work if You Can Get It, Rock of Ages, Merrily We Roll Along (Summer Repertory Theater); Cosi Fan Tutte (University of Cincinnati); Rock of Ages, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Playhouse on the Square). Website: www.ryanmhowell.com Instagram: @ryanmhowell
AMITH A. CHANDRASHAKER (Lighting Designer) Selected credits: Theater: Twelfth Night (Public), Her Requiem (LCT3), FADE (Primary Stages), Seven Spots… (Rattlestick/ Sol Project), Alligator (New Georges/ Sol Project), Ike at Night (UTR/Public), Quiet, Comfort (Hoi Polloi), [Porto] (Bushwick Starr), Platonov (Kitchen), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm), Book of Disquiet (Peak Performances), Carnival Kids (Lesser America). Opera: Scarlet Letter (Opera Colorado), Abduction from the Seraglio (Atlanta Opera), L’ Elisir D’Amour (The Curtis Institute). Dance: Sidra Bell, Alexander Ekman, Aszure Barton, Kate Weare, Liz Gerring, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Rennie Harris Pure Movement, The National Dance Co. of Wales, Aalto Ballet Theatre Essen Germany and The Royal New Zealand Ballet.
NICOLE SLAVEN (Costume Designer) is a Flatbush, Brooklyn based costume designer. Recent design credits include Curse of the Starving Class (Williamstown Theatre Festival Fellowship), Orestes (New School for Drama), Hair (Columbia), “Master Harold” and the boys (Atlantic Acting School), Orpheus in the Berkshires (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Exile is My Home (Theatre for the New City) and East Coast Curriculum (Lee Strasberg Institute). Nicole collaborates as a resident designer for several companies including Two Headed Rep. www.nicoleslaven.com
EMILY AUCIELLO (Sound Designer) is a New York based freelance sound designer. She has designed at Signature Theatre, Women’s Project, The Kitchen, HERE Arts Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Ohio, JACK, IRT, Under St. Marks, NY Fringe, Two River Theater Company, Delaware Theater Center, Penguin Rep and others. She has assisted/associate designed at The Music Box, MTC, The Public, LCT3, Signature Theatre, Little Shubert Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage Uptown, Atlantic Theater, Soho Rep, Primary Stages, Roundabout Underground, Women’s Project, Rattlestick, Dallas Theatre Center, Barrington Stage and others. Love to Alex.
EMILY ROTH (Production Stage Manager) is a full-time stage manager and production manager. Most recent regional credits include Vinegar Tom (Atlantic Acting School), The View UpStairs (Invisible Wall Productions), DirectorFest (The Drama League), Cry Eden (The Cain & Abel Project) and The Glowing Boot (United Solo Fest). She is the co-author of Stage Management Basics (Focal Press © 2017).